Shawarma vs. Gyro: Flavor, Substances, and Diet

Gyros and shawarmas are two very similar — still unique — dishes that have turn into well-liked street foodstuff about the globe.

They’re both inspired by the cooking method of the Turkish doner kebab designed during the Ottoman Empire.

The strategy is composed of stacking meat on a vertical skewer or rotisserie to type a cone, which slowly but surely rotates upcoming to a warmth resource to permit the meat to cook dinner.

As this kind of, gyros and shawarmas are identical in that they are cooked on a vertical rotisserie, normally organized with the exact same meat, and served on pita bread.

On the other hand, these two dishes are staples of two various Mediterranean cuisines, and thus, they are different from one particular another.

This post usually takes a closer look at the similarities and distinctions among gyros and shawarmas.

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A person key big difference in between a gyro and a shawarma is the dishes’ origins.

History of gyro

A gyro is a dish of Greek origin. In truth, the phrase gyro is truly the Greek word for “round,” which refers to the vertical rotisserie in which the meat is cooked.

Furthermore, gyros are well prepared and topped working with new ingredients historically used in Greek delicacies.

Gyros are commonly manufactured with lamb, beef, pork, or rooster, and the meat is seasoned with thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

When the outer layers of the meat are cooked, they are shaved into skinny slices and served on pita bread unfold with hummus.

A gyro is then topped with tomato, crimson onion, lettuce, french fries, and tzatziki — a standard Greek dip or sauce produced with yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and herbs like dill, mint, or thyme.

Historical past of shawarma

Shawarma is a dish of Middle Jap origin, and a large amount can be realized as a result of its name and elements.

The name shawarma derives from the phrase çevirme, which is Turkish for “turning” — which also refers to the meat’s cooking strategy.

When shawarmas are also served on pita bread or wrapped in a flatbread distribute with hummus, they are traditionally built with lamb, chicken, veal, or turkey, and often a blend of meats.

Nevertheless, the meat is seasoned with spices like turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and garlic.

It’s topped with tabbouleh (a standard bulgur-based salad), pickled veggies, and tahini — a Middle Eastern condiment created of floor sesame seeds.


Gyros and shawarmas are both of those made in a vertical rotisserie and served on pita bread with hummus. However, gyros have a Greek origin, and shawarmas are Center Jap. Every is produced utilizing regular ingredients.

Below is a comparison of gyros and shawarmas’ main distinctions and similarities:

Whilst gyros and shawarmas share many substances and search really a great deal alike, they each individual have distinctive taste profiles, which are predominantly determined by the way the meat is well prepared before getting cooked.

Widespread ingredients in gyro vs. shawarma

Gyros and shawarmas are sandwich-like dishes that share many components, such as:

  • Pita bread: Regardless of whether it is slice into a pocket and stuffed with the ingredients or utilised as a flatbread, pita presents each dishes their attribute structure. It is also their principal resource of carbohydrates (1).
  • Meat: Lamb and chicken are normally employed in both gyros and shawarmas. Although lamb is a variety of pink meat and rooster is a white meat, they’re equally substantial excellent protein resources that deliver all necessary amino acids — the kinds you need to get from foods because your body can’t develop them (2, 3).
  • Hummus: Hummus is a Center Eastern unfold built from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. It is a nutrient-dense component prosperous in fiber, healthier fat, vitamins E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. As such, it has been joined to several well being positive aspects (4, 5).

Flavor profiles of gyro vs. shawarma

In spite of sharing most of their principal components, gyros and shawarmas flavor rather different.

On the a person hand, gyros have a classical Mediterranean taste because of to the use of fresh new uncooked greens, this sort of as crimson onions and tomatoes, and the yogurt, cucumber, and dill from the tzatziki.

In addition, the meat is seasoned ideal ahead of becoming stacked into the skewer, and the selection of spices offers it a aromatic, light, and slightly minty style.

On the contrary, shawarma’s elements and seasonings give it a spicier, warmer, and extra advanced flavor profile, which is highlighted by the selection of flavors supplied by its usual toppings.

For instance, the pickled veggies, which often include things like carrots, cabbage, and onions, increase a little bit of tanginess to the dish. In the meantime, the tahini and tabbouleh — made from chopped tomatoes, onions, parsley, mint, bulgur wheat, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt — deliver an earthy yet clean style.

And in contrast to gyro meat, shawarma meat is marinated at length — often overnight — to let for a richer flavor profile.


Gyros and shawarmas share some of their principal substances, such as the sort of bread, meat, and hummus. Having said that, gyros have a fresh taste profile, while shawarmas are spicier, hotter, and a lot more intricate.

Gyros and shawarmas are both comprehensive meals that provide all 3 macronutrients: carbs, proteins, and fat.

Beneath is the comparison among a 390-gram serving of beef gyro and shawarma (6, 7):

Usually speaking, gyros have a tendency to have a better carb count thanks to the addition of french fries. In distinction, shawarmas’ improved fats content material might be thanks to the tahini, which is composed mostly of heart-balanced fat (8).

On top of that, one particular possible explanation for shawarmas’ increased protein content material might be that there’s place for a lot more meat without having the french fries.

Even so, preserve in mind that the nutritional profile of each gyros and shawarmas will depend on sizing and what meat and toppings you pick.


Gyros and shawarmas present all a few macronutrients. Having said that, their nutritional profiles may change based on the range of meat and toppings.

Gyros and shawarmas have grow to be ever more preferred avenue food items and, therefore, are usually eaten by them selves on the go or with a aspect of french fries.

Nevertheless, if you’re preparing on serving a Greek- or Middle Jap-influenced food, you can pair gyros or shawarmas with various scrumptious side dishes.

Due to the fact both of those of them now supply their reasonable share of proteins, carbs, and fat, you might want to concentration on serving them with veggie-rich sides.

For illustration, gyros pair nicely with:

  • roasted vegetables like bell peppers
  • a common Greek salad designed with tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, kalamata olives, and feta cheese
  • a hearty moussaka (a Mediterranean eggplant lasagna)

As for shawarma, it can be served with:

  • a mezze platter: an assortment of regular Center Eastern appetizers, dips, and spreads that often consist of hummus and baba ganoush — an eggplant dip — feta or mozzarella cheese, olives, artichoke hearts, uncooked and roasted veggies, dried fruits like dates and figs, and refreshing fruits like grapes
  • added pickled veggies
  • tabbouleh

When it comes to drinks, equally gyros and shawarmas pair perfectly with beer and purple wine.

But take into consideration trying to keep that alcohol intake gentle. The most up-to-date Nutritional Recommendations for Individuals advise 2 beverages or much less in a working day for males and 1 consume or less in a day for gals to stop harm to your health (9).

Alternatively, mint tea is a standard non-alcoholic Mediterranean beverage that you can take pleasure in either very hot or cold with your food.


Gyros and shawarmas can be savored by themselves on the go, or you can incorporate to the food by serving them with regular veggie-loaded aspect dishes.

Gyros and shawarmas have various similarities, which include most of their ingredients and their main cooking system.

The most important differences occur down to their origins and taste profiles. Gyros are Greek and have a contemporary style, while shawarmas are Middle Japanese with a spicier and a lot more complex taste.

Both gyros and shawarmas give all a few macronutrients and are usually eaten by on their own on the go. Even so, you can make the most out of both equally by pairing them with veg-hefty aspect dishes.